Shedding light on Vancouver’s smaller brands
By Matthew Fraser, Editor in Chief
Vancouver is home to more than just the big and internationally famous brands like Arc’teryx and Lululemon.
Though Vancouver may be best known for its outdoor beauty and expensive real estate, the province is no slouch when it comes to fashion. In many ways, it is the very outdoors that BC is best known for that help drive the provinces fashion creations. A recent example of this is the collaboration between Vancouvers’ own Tentree and National Geographic.
There are of course the big names: Lululemon birthed the yoga pant and arguably activewear trend, thusly opening the door to a million and one imitators. SAXX took the high-end menswear world by storm by revolutionizing boxers, while Arc’teryx helped make the Gore-Tex hiking jacket a HYPEBEAST mainstay. Aritzia is the local fast fashion powerhouse, while Reigning Champ is Canadas’ best answer to Supreme. But Vancouver is home to more than just those big and internationally famous brands.
Okakie– After founding her first brand in WORKHALL, Vancouver based Nicole Campre collaborated with her husband in 2017 to form Okakie (pronounced Húgákiyé), a Dene word that means ‘to paddle’. Paying homage to the First Nations peoples and named after her grandmother, Okakie specializes in women’s wear for all occasions; with everything from bodysuits to knitted cardigans, Okakie is sure to have something for all seasons and styles.
Studio A-OK– Let’s say you wanted to let everyone know you’re a Vancouver stoner without telling anyone you’re a Vancouver stoner, what would you wear? Chances are whatever it would be is exactly what Studio A-OK sells. Billing themselves as a: “Cannabis accessories brand and creative studio… operated out of a city known around the world for its weed culture,” the vibes are self evident when you wear a branded hat or “I saw bigfoot” tee. Plus, their multipurpose home décor will surely keep the good times rolling.
Dayton Boots– Founded in 1946, Dayton Boots is amongst Canadas longest running (pun intended) apparel houses. With its 75-year history, this boot co has earned the right to sell t-shirts that say: “We helped your granddad get laid. So basically, you’re our fault.” Though their prices are no joke, their proven pedigree isn’t either.
Native Shoes– At a much more student-friendly budget there is Native Shoes. With a keen focus on lightweight and waterproof shoes, this Vancouver shoe co is a must-have for the long rainy season. If the brands funky colors and designs don’t impress, their dedication to recyclability will. The brand has aimed to make sure that 100% of their shoes can have a second life after wear by 2023. To do this, they have made all their shoe’s recyclable and partnered with Canada Post to allow free returns to facilitate the reuse of their products. From hiking and urban wear to playground material and insulation, Native Shoes are built for long lasting fun and enjoyment.